County Cinema

Taff Street,
Pontypridd, CF37

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Jackson Withers Circuits

Architects: David Evelyn Nye

Styles: Art Deco, Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Royal Clarence Theatre, New Theatre

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County Cinema

The Royal Clarence Theatre was built in 1890, and by 1901 had been re-named New Theatre. Films were soon being presented as part of the programme.

Built by the Jackson Withers chain, Pontypridd’s only Art Deco style cinema opened in January 1939 within the walls of the New Theatre, which had been given a total make-over. The County Cinema occupies a corner site near the station and was a vast white rendered building with a few streamlined Art Deco style windows and a slim entrance canopy. It had a streamlined interior with cove lighting and a waterfall festoon screen curtain. The proscenium was 30 feet wide. Around 1953 architect David Evelyn Nye carried out alterations to accommodate widescreen presentations.

Like its neighbour the White Palace Cinema, it suffered from the onslaught of video and colour TV. It was converted into the Castle Bingo Club in the early-1980’s, a use which continued until the early-2000’s when it was last known as the Stardust Bingo Club. It stood empty which is a sad end for a great cinema. It was demolished in May 2021.

Contributed by dave pring

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Ian on July 19, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I have not been able to find the closing date of the Stardust Bingo, but I suspect it was nearer 2010 than the start of the decade. There are an amazing number of businesses operating within the block, presumably below the auditorium, which perhaps bodes well for its survival. The entrance (behind the shutters), for such a large building, seems to have been surprisingly muted and on a minor road. The corner block, pictured here in 2012, was seemingly not part of the cinema behind.

County Cinema

davepring on July 21, 2012 at 2:57 am

The corner block was the Royal Clarence Hotel originally and in a similar style to the victorian theatre

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